Here’s a Mountain Metaphor

Six people: the maximum capacity for a bench on the ski lift in the small mountain town my friends and I visited for Octoberfest this past weekend. Our group consisted of two couples and me, and given that the sum of our bodies allowed for a one-person buffer between us and what I imagined would be a macabre, weight-driven tragedy, I had never been more ecstatic to play the role of fifth wheel.

We excitedly jumped on board but soon morphed into jittery hot messes once we reached the specific altitude of the mountain in which shit officially gets real. We got stuck for a moment and dangled and whined and sweated and prayed and got ready, basically, to die.

I tried to take comfort in the family-like closeness of our group—clinging to the dark thought that at least we’d all go down together—and it almost helped, but just for a moment.

“You guys, we’re only freaking out because this is like, the ultimate loss of control,” I heard my friend say from across the bench. “We have to trust that we’re not gonna fall. Why is it so hard to let go and believe that the people who constructed this thing knew what they were doing?”

“My balls are actually in my throat right now, so,” I replied, apropos of nothing and everything, and didn’t finish.

I could continue with a play-by-play of the hyperventilating and melodramatic rambling and meaning-of-life thought spiraling that ensued on my part, but I won’t. Instead I’ll just say that eventually I accepted that whether or not I freaked out, the outcome of this experience wouldn’t change. Like a lot of things, it was entirely out of our hands.

So I exhaled, the lift picked up again, and tragedy didn’t strike. And I realized that (one) friendship is everything, and (two) mountains are beautiful when seen from the safe distance of the bottom, but the views from the top are un-fucking-believable.

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Are My Ripped Jorts Destroying My Life?

Last week, after having a few beers at a live fantasy football draft (which I dominated, by the way), I impulsively agreed to meet a random dude from OkCupid for an impromptu first date in the city before heading home.

Ordinarily, this would not have been a noteworthy experience. But on this particular day I had decided to wear ripped jorts to work.

Jorts, for those of you with taste and/or lives, are jean shorts.

jorts

Me channeling Miley Cyrus while wearing jorts in what appears to be the rainforest, which is a caption I never thought I’d write.

I’m not exactly sure why I love my jorts, but I do. Maybe it has a lot to do with Mariah Carey’s 1993 video for “Dreamlover,” in which she frolics through a meadow in a pair of her own; I don’t know.

In any case, below is the entire story arc of the date in which I wore jorts, as told through a truncated series of Facebook IMs between my friend Steven and I.

En route to the date…

  • Me: The draft is over, my team is amazing, I’m drunk
  • Me: now I’m meeting some dude for more drinks
  • Me: I’m wearing topped jean shorts so
  • Me: he’ll definitely think I’m hot
  • Steven: topped jean shorts?
  • Steven: omg do you mean RIPPED?
  • Steven: because if so, you must change
  • Steven: are you a twink in the West Village circa 1985?
  • Me: it’s too late!!!
  • Steven: you have an affinity for ripped jeans
  • Me: If he’s the One he would accept ripped jeans
  • Me: and or jorts
  • Steven: omg
  • Steven: you own jorts don’t you?
  • Me: I’M WEARING THEM NOW!
  • Steven: omg it didn’t even register I was so focused on the ripped part

During the date…

  • Me: Truly he is peeing
  • Me: RAPPER
  • Me: he’s herring us more beer
  • Steven: you don’t need more beer
  • Me: Shonda Rhimes

After the date…

  • Me: Ok I’m overrrrrr it with this dude
  • Steven: Why?
  • Me: we just parted ways
  • Me: it was just like very abrupt
  • Steven: sounds gross
  • Me: Haha idk I’m confused!!!
  • Me: this is the first date in a long time where
  • Steven: you were drunk from the start?
  • Me: no where he was clearly NOT into me
  • Steven: Which of course makes you want him
  • Me: Meh this guy was boring
  • Me: if I’m getting honest
  • Steven: Ha
  • Me: His only appeal is that he’s Italian and from Staten Island
  • Steven: OMG Mariah is on Twitter asking fans about songs for her tour
  • Steven: and tweeted: “Side Effects or Petals?”
  • Steven: I CANNOT
  • Me: Nooooiii
  • Me: I’m too impaired to deal with this
  • Steven: Hahahaha wait why? They’re both gems
  • Me: I mean what’s her mental state?
  • Steven: if she’s thinking about either of those songs, she’s clearly angry
  • Me: They’re so different
  • Me: [FACEBOOK STICKER OF CAT WITH DOUGH ROLLER]
  • Me: Like what kind of a weird a
  • Me: Ass match up is that
  • Me: [FACEBOOK STICKER OF CAT WITH DONUT]
  • Me: I didn’t mean to do those!
  • Me: /
  • Me: whatever it’s probably the jorts that made that guy not into me
  • Me: Your silence indicates that you write
  • Me: Age*
  • Me: Agree****
  • Steven: the ripped jorts have to go

SO IS IT TRUE?

Are ripped jorts a crime? Do ripped jorts ruin everything? Are ripped jorts the reason why Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola got divorced in 1997 and also why things are now on the rocks with her and Nick Cannon and therefore why she’s taken to Twitter to survey fans on their favorite jilted-Mimi songs? Are ripped jorts to blame for the fact that I went home alone after my date that night and ate an entire box of Annie’s Party Mix?

Maybe. But actually — you know what? Fall is soon to be upon us. So I can probably just shelve this discussion altogether until next year. Time to break out the full-length jeans with holes in them and continue evading the underlying issues that draw me to ripped denim in the first place! Yay!

ADDENDUM

Below are some highlights from the “Jorts” page on Urban Dictionary (followed by my thoughts in bold):

Jean shorts. Worn mostly by children and douchebags. Jorts are perhaps the easiest way to recognize people you will not like. If you wear jorts, you probably don’t talk to girls. (I mean, that last part is true in my case.)

Slang for jean shorts. These are most often worn by the fashion illiterate. (I prefer ensemble-y challenged, asshole.)

Jean shorts that are unusually short, generally worn on men, was fashionable in the 80’s not now. (Steven is this you?)

F*ck you, I can dress any way I want. (Right on, sister!)

Jean-shorts. mostly worn by queers and cute bus drivers. (OMG I’m both of those. Except I don’t identify as “queer” and I’m not a bus driver. But I am cute. When I’m not wearing jorts, at least.)

Possibly the ugliest article of clothing one can wear. Usually worn by people who do not have friends, because a true friend would tell you that you look like a faggot. (Listen, Urban Dictionary, your Eminem-esque homophobia is out of control. I’m beginning to think you’re the gay one. And BY THE WAY, the term you’re actually looking for is “twink in the West Village circa 1985,” so bye.)

 

Help! I Was a Total Asshole to the Girl Who Works at My Favorite Sandwich Shop

I have this routine where I eat healthy-ish throughout the entire week and then reward myself by getting ratchet on Friday night. Then I’ll wake up on Saturday and go straight to this delightful little neighborhood sandwich shop across the street from me and order a bacon, egg, and cheese on a whole wheat bagel with a medium iced coffee, and the ritual of it all (or maybe just the bacon) fulfills me in ways that the unconditional love of another human being a healthy, balanced breakfast never could.

So this past Saturday I hobbled into the sandwich shop at about ten o’clock. Please note that I barely slept the night before, so I was tired and weak and generally struggling to not sound like Christian Bale’s Batman.

  • Me: Hi. I’ll have a bacon egg and cheese on a toasted whole wheat bagel, and—
  • Girl taking my order: A medium iced coffee with milk only? I remember! [Smiles warmly.]

In my head: Oh! This is the moment in which I befriend the girl who works at the sandwich shop because I’ve been here so many times. If this exchange goes well, my future visits will involve her being all, “Hey Nic! How was your week? Getting the usual today?” and I’ll be like, “Yeah, girl!” and we’ll probably live happily ever after (or something).

I wanted to answer her with a self-deprecating and light response to ensure the above fate, maybe something like: “Haha, yep! That’s me. I’m boring and my order never changes. [Chuckle/smile.] Thanks.”

But on this particular morning my brain wasn’t working, because as stated before, I was tired and weak and generally struggling to not sound like Christian Bale’s Batman — so while I tried to formulate a sentence like the one above, I just couldn’t do it on such short notice, and so, fucking THIS ended up happening:

  • Me [Dryly]: Well, I’ve only ordered it about a hundred times, so… good.

WHO SAYS THAT TO SOMEONE? I’m sure this is exactly what I looked like in that girl’s head at that moment:

bageldebacle

After the dust settled, I gave an awkward half-laugh/half-look-of-disgust as I realized that I had responded to her in the way a total asshole – a total asshole for no reason, nonetheless – would have.

Meanwhile, she gave me a look that was half-shocked and half-“Ew, your attitude is fucking gross,” which, really, was generous. Because if the shoe was on the other foot and I was working at a sandwich shop and a customer talked to me like that, I’d have totally been like, “GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN, DICK. AND MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN ICED COFFEE.”

I spent the rest of my time in the shop waiting for my sandwich in what can only be described as a severely uncomfortable state of debilitating embarrassment and shame, which is yet to wear off entirely.

As another Saturday approaches, I find myself fraught with anxiety over how to move on with my bagel-eating life. I’ve narrowed down my options to the following:

  1. Banish myself from this particular sandwich shop (in a dramatic fashion and while listening to that “deception, disgrace” song from the Lion King 2 soundtrack, perhaps) forever.
  2. Continue on as if it never happened and just hope that the girl forgets about it and/or has a forgiving heart and/or has better things to do than give a shit about my antics in the first place.
  3. Explicitly acknowledge the blunder the next time I come in and say something like, “Hey, remember that time I was a total dick to you? Haha, sorry. It was a weird thing where my brain stopped working and couldn’t formulate the kind of sentence I wanted it to, and again, sorry. Sorry! Sorry!! LOVE ME.”
  4. Crawl into a hole and die… ?

Please feel free to cast your vote — and/or offer a better option — in the comments below.

P.S. When I told my brother this story he was like, “Really? You’re putting that much thought into this? Nic, you have issues.” So I guess Option 5 is to agree with him.

P.P.S. When I told my friend Steven this story he was all, “I’d have spit in your bagel if I were her,” and then I was like, “Yeah but can we talk about how difficult it was for ME?! At least she had the luxury of being the victim,” and really I’m only including this exchange here because I find it kind of hilarious but also a little fucked up that it was so easy for me to use “the luxury of being the victim” in a sentence without even a trace of irony, which I guess proves my brother right in that first P.S.

 

How to Have a Pleasurable Experience at the Dentist

I’d like to begin by stating that if you’re looking to have a pleasurable experience at the dentist, then I suggest you find yourself a dentist who, in addition to having a keen sense of empathy and a gentle touch with a tarter scraper, gives really great blowjobs.

Kidding! This isn’t that kind of blog post (and I’m not that kind of blogger; on Mondays, at least), and I apologize for being uncouth — dentists and blowjobs should never be mentioned in the same sentence, or within two sentences of each other, or even within the same paragraph for that matter, BECAUSE TEETH. Like, ow. Although I’ve heard some people are into that? I’m definitely not. Usually. Unless I’m in a mood and/or the dentist in question is actually Nick Jonas in pretend-dentist-scrubs, in which case he can do whatever he wants to me with his teeth, because he’s Nick Jonas in pretend-dentist-scrubs. You know what? This paragraph is getting weird and convoluted, not to mention fraught with too many commas. Let’s start over.

Last week I had an appointment for a routine teeth cleaning. I used to hate this type of thing, and I’ve only recently discovered that it’s because all my past dentists have been cold-hearted assholes who couldn’t even be bothered to lightly spray eucalyptus mist into the air or wrap my hands in a healing moisture treatment before sticking their tools in my mouth. (Dental tools, that is. I stand by the claim that my opening sentence was a joke!)

I can make all the diva-like demands I want to these days, though, because I now go to a dental spa. Mhm. A dental spa(hhh). This might make me a princess of sorts but I don’t give a shit because my dental spa is serene and majestic and yes, I’m using the Internet to write about a total first world problem right now that’s not actually a problem at all but is instead a first world solution (#blessed?), which probably makes it even more unhip to write about – but I don’t care because #YOLO (see image below) and I’m sensitive about my teeth.

dental spa checkinSo I was there, and everything was going great. Relaxing New Age music floated out of the speakers, my hands were luxuriously enveloped by the aforementioned moisture treatment (which, side note, feels a lot like having one’s hands licked by a fresh batch of angelic golden retriever puppies), and the massage chair pulsed in a soothing rhythm against my weary back as my dental hygienist poked and prodded her way around my gums without incident.

But then.

The massage chair went dead and I realized that its vibration was the main source of my Zen and so suddenly my Zen was gone and in an instant I became Brady Hobbes. That is to say, I became Miranda’s baby on Sex and the City when it was a total psycho (like all babies) and wouldn’t shut the fuck up until it was put into that weird vibrating baby-chair thing. (And then remember when Samantha babysat but the chair was broken or something and so she had to improvise with duct tape and a vibrator?) This was all a lot like that.

As I sat there painfully motionless, I asked myself, Who can live like this? Who can get their teeth cleaned without simultaneously being massaged by a chair? Might my dentist have a vibrator? WHY IS LIFE DOING THIS TO ME?

Within a few minutes, though, the dental hygienist stopped what she was doing and looked down at me.

“Oh!” she said. “Looks like your chair turned itself off. It does that every twenty minutes. Let me re-start it for you.”

I smiled and drooled onto my clip-on bib thing in response.

Once the chair was moving again and I had my essence back, I was able to return to my internal dialogue, which was mostly comprised of me writing this piece in my head and also mentally singing Lady GaGa’s “Do What U Want” while really meaning the lyrics – because as comfortable as I was, I still had to accept that there were sharp things in my mouth, and the line “you can’t have my heart, you won’t use my mind, but do what you want with my body” easily becomes a powerful affirmation in such a context.

The next song to get stuck in my head during this experience was City High’s 2001 anthem “What Would You Do?” in which a stripper has a defensive moment.

Why this throwback tune? Because at some point in the cleaning I decided to have the childlike epiphany that while I was only in the massage chair for an hour-long appointment, my dental hygienist was going to be in that office all day doing dental stuff, which of course made me imagine her taking me outside and sassily singing the lyric, “to you this is just a good time, but to me this is what I call LIFE, ooh-ooh,” at my face.

Next I asked myself, I wonder if  I’d be a good dental hygienist? and proceeded to get carried away ruminating on how the answer was so obviously LOL no because [if this blog post has taught us anything, it is that] I’m too self-involved.

Plus it takes me five minutes just to Windex my bathroom mirror because I have to go over the same spots thirty times each on account of my crippling fear of imperfection. So can you imagine how long I’d take per tooth? My patients would probably be like, “Hurry it the fuck up, Nic, you’ve had to reset my massage chair five times already and I’m getting restless,” to which I’d respond, “TO YOU THIS IS JUST A GOOD TIME BUT TO ME THIS IS WHAT I CALL LIFE!” and then they’d be like, “GET OVER YOURSELF, ASSHOLE,” and then someone’s gums would be stabbed and we’d all go to prison.

Or: I’d breeze through cleanings quickly and lose the ability to give a shit about perfection anymore because, “Hey, they’re not my teeth,” which I’m pretty sure would make me an even shittier person than I was in the above gum-stabbing scenario.

“Okay, Nicolas, you’re all set!” my dentist said, abruptly jolting me out of my imagination by giving me a delightfully steaming hot washcloth on a plate and removing my hands from their moisture gloves. “How do they feel?”

“Like they’ve been licked by a fresh batch of angelic golden retriever puppies,” I wanted to say. But then I realized she was probably talking about my teeth.

 

I’m Going to Need Jonah Hill to Acknowledge That We Were Once Twins

This isn’t an actual post. Really, it’s a call to action. Because last week I posted a Throwback Thursday pic on Instagram and it looked like this…Yrbook…and I fucking KNOW, right? The Jonah Hill resemblance is uncanny and more than a little Sci-Fi-esque and separated-at-birth-y.

The weirdest thing is that I look absolutely nothing like him as an adult, so this whole situation truly is, as stated in the above Instagram caption, a mysterious riddle. A mysterious riddle that must be solved.

When I first noticed, I wondered if it was the universe pulling a hilarious switcheroo (I just wrote “switcheroo”), and that maybe Jonah’s childhood yearbook photo actually looks like adult me.

But I looked it up, and no. Instead it’s basically just a black and white variation of the one I posted above.

jonah2

Does anyone else think this is crazy? And that there has to be some kind of method to this madness? And that Jonah Hill probably knows something the rest of us do not?

Because I do.

I also need a new celebrity to harass on Twitter, because I’m fairly certain Celine Dion’s people are two tweets and a Facebook comment away from filing a restraining order against me on her behalf. We’re not adopting a cat together. It’s fine.

All of the above is to say that I’d like to propose a campaign to get Jonah to react to this obviously cosmic connection and also make me famous. If you’d like to participate, feel free to tweet this article at him using the hashtag #JonahNicMysteriousRiddle, because I clearly want to cock-block my chances of ever making it trend by making it a thousand letters. And if you’d rather not participate because you think it’s invasive and/or have a life, don’t worry — I’ll probably be nagging him enough for all of us anyway.

 

11 Signs You’re Drunk and a Problem

1. You order a “Grey Goose and Vodka.” The bartender looks at you weird and is all, “You mean Grey Goose and Soda?” and you reply, “THAT’S WHAT I SAID, DICK!” followed immediately by, “Oh my God. I’m so sorry.”

2. In the wake of #1, an imaginary, miniature, and slightly translucent Full House-era Bob Saget starts hovering over your left shoulder and convinces you to leave a 100% tip, mostly out of white guilt (or something), to make up for the whole debacle.

3. Straight women: You start Katy Perry-ing and kissing each other.

4. Gay men: You also start Katy Perry-ing, kissing straight women and/or lesbians.

Well, I made it a solid two months.

Well. At least I made it two months.

5. Straight men: Ain’t nobody got time for Katy Perry, as you’re too busy Facebook status-ing impassioned rants RE: underrated athletes who are hated on by many but are in fact the BEST OF ALL TIME.

6. You spend five or more minutes meticulously fashioning a grammatically sound and typo-free text message to your [ex-boyfriend/hookup/person whom you generally wish would love you] that simply says, “Hey. How’s it going?”

7. You start answering all questions with “GENEVA CONVENTION!”

8. You’re not sure what the Geneva Convention is/was.

drunk

9. You craft what you think is the perfect Snapchat, but is in fact just a really, really dark picture of an unremarkable barstool. When sending, you speedily check off names with reckless abandon—including all the people you usually avoid Snapchatting out of fear that they’ll think you’re a loser. Which is very ironic.

10. You touch people in ALL the places.

11. You receive a response to the text sent in #6. It says, “I’m OK, you?” and you respond with, “WHdAT the FKCU Do YOU THINK, ASFKLHOLE???”

 

My Day as a Psycho Celebrity-Spammer on Twitter

So, let’s talk about CELINE FUCKING DION. (You’re welcome.)

This story starts a few months ago, when some literary agents were telling me that my author platform wasn’t strong enough to warrant a book deal in today’s sure bet-driven marketplace. Which, in other words, means that I don’t have enough Twitter followers. Which, in other words, means that I’m not popular enough. Which, in other words, means that the publishing industry is basically Mean Girls and — Oh my God, Danny DeVito I love your work!

The fucked up thing about it is that if I actually did have a hundred thousand Twitter followers, I’d probably be one of those entitled, douche-y assholes who’s all, “Duh. Get with the times. Of course I have a huge platform; what do you think I am? A loser?

So maybe I’m a hypocrite, it’s fine.

One day in March, coming off the bitter sting of a fresh rejection, I was IM-ing with my friend Kaci.

  • Nic: Ugh. Still not popular enough
  • Nic: How do I get more followers on Twitter???
  • Nic: Maybe I should just start harassing celebrities in hopes that they’ll retweet me?
  • Nic: Which ones, though?
  • Kaci: Celine
  • Kaci: obvi
  • Kaci: I need to start getting cats and committing to dying alone
  • Nic: That’s it!
  • Nic: I’ll ask Celine to adopt a cat with me

And then a monster was born.

1

RE: the whole “Aegean” thing: basically I just Googled “cat breeds” and then chose the one that I felt would read most elegantly within the context of a tweet to Celine Dion. But apparently my elegance didn’t matter, because Celine ignored me as if I were a creepy Internet weirdo or something.

But then! I figured out why:

2

Still nothing. So then I moved into the anger stage and was all, “Fuck Celine! I’ll branch out to… Martha Stewart.”

3 4

DROP G’S! I thought it was brilliant. But Martha clearly wasn’t amused, as she ignored me too, forcing me to wonder if maybe my Internet fame wouldn’t be best found through middle-aged divas (one musical, one domestic) catered to the daytime-TV-watching crowd, so I went after the Jonas Brothers.

5 6

BUT NO LUCK THERE. (On the kitten or the marriage.)

So then I went back to Celine in a final, desperate attempt to get her to at least adopt something with me, but for some reason by that point in the day I became an incoherent mess who required three tweets to finish a thought and close a set of parentheses:

7 8 9

Celine continued in her staunch dedication to not acknowledging that a crazy person was spamming her on Twitter, which made me frustrated.

Frazzled and feeling like if I didn’t get at least one celebrity retweet by day’s end that I’d NEVER GET PUBLISHED, LIKE, EVER, I proceeded to do this:

10

By the end of it all, I reviewed my timeline’s activity and felt highly, highly ashamed of myself. Who does shit like this? I wondered. This is pathetic and embarrassing.

But then my thoughts wandered into a more gratitude-y place — feeling relieved that, well, at least I didn’t have a hundred thousand followers watching.

 

I Actually Wouldn’t Sleep with Justin Bieber, Probably

Earlier this week, I was IMing with my friend Steven.

  • Steven: I’m in a weird state of mind
  • Nic: Why??? Are you finding yourself sexually attracted to Justin Bieber BUT ONLY IN CERTAIN PICTURES? Because I might be
  • Steven: Haha, ew
In my defense, it was only one picture, which I will share below (complete with Paintbrush annotations that I’m pretty sure justify my controversial opinion):

I mean, look at that neck.

In light of Steven’s “ew,” though, I decided to survey other people via IM to gauge their opinions and find out whether or not I actually have a problem.

With my work-wife Mila:

  • Nic: Is it just me or is Bieber kind of hot in this pic?
  • Mila: NO
  • Mila: I will not let you go down this slippery slope
  • Mila: I love you, you’re better than this

With my work-wife Jenny:

  • Nic: Is it just me or is Bieber kind of hot in this pic?
  • Jenny: NO!
  • Jenny: it’s the tattoos, isn’t it?

With an anonymous friend of mine from grad school:

  • Nic: Is it just me or is Bieber kind of hot in this pic?
  • Anonymous: [long period of silence/on-and-off typing]
  • Anonymous: hot
  • Anonymous: just in that pic though
  • Anonymous: and you can never tell anyone i said that

I think this means that deep down everyone agrees with me and I win.

P.S. I just thought about it for a second, and actually? There are no winners in a blog post dedicated purely to whether or not Justin Bieber is hot.

P.P.S. Except for Bieber himself, maybe, because out of all the Bieber news coverage this week, this is probably the least likely to get him hate mail.

P.P.P.S. You’re fucking welcome, Justin. And no, I have no idea why I suddenly switched from calling you “Bieber” this whole time to calling you “Justin.” Maybe because the whole last name thing feels too impersonal and now that I’m addressing you directly I’m trying to make us all a little more comfortable?

P.P.P.P.S. By the way, did I really say “hate mail” before? Is this 1993? I meant to write “hate tweets.” And I’m sorry dude, but you kind of asked for them. Stop being such a jackass.

 

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